“I don’t like chicken, it’s just so bland,” (Have you ever said this?? I know you know someone who has!)
I’ve got a mindset switch for you: we can think of it as bland OR as the most versatile meat because it can become anything you want it to! MAGIC, I tell you. Especially when you use a marinade!Marinades come together in minutes and easily TRANSFORM your chicken!
Today I want to share with you not one, but FOUR of my favorite chicken marinades for flavorful chicken, every time!
1) Jerk chicken: a little sweet, a whole lot of spice (but not the burn-your-face-off kind).
2) Greek chicken: tender and garlicky, with a hint of lemon.
3) Teriyaki: mostly sweet with a little kick of ginger
4) Fajita Chicken: Make fajitas even easier by throwing this one in the instant pot for shredded fajitas (or my favorite- bowls!).
How to make the marinades:
Each recipe is designed for 2 lbs chicken breast or thighs.
For all recipes:
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and/or food processor (jerk is best processed, first) before coating chicken and marinating 2 hours to overnight.
Jerk Chicken Marinade:
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp fresh or dried thyme
- 1 habanero pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tbsp neutral oil
Greek Chicken Marinade (Gyro-style):
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried or fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup neutral oil (I like avocado)
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Teriyaki Chicken Marinade:
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2″ ginger, minced
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
How to use marinated chicken:
1) Grill or sear
Heat a grill pan or grill to medium-high. Spray well with a nonstick spray. Grill for 4-6 minutes per side until chicken is cooked through (the thinner the chicken, the faster it will cook). Chicken needs to be cooked to 165F in the thickest part.
Heat 1-2 tbsp of high heat oil (avocado oil is my go-to) in a cast-iron or oven safe skillet to medium-high heat. Sear for 4-5 minutes, flip and finish in the oven at 400F for 10-15 minutes or until cooked through.
3) Slow Cooker
Add chicken and marinade ingredients to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Shred or use as-is.
4) Instant Pot (marinated shredded chicken)
The instant pot needs more liquid than the slow cooker, so add an additional 3/4-1 cup of liquid (water or broth works) to the chicken and marinade. Cook on manual for 20 minutes, let naturally release for 10 minutes before releasing pressure and shredding.
- The longer you can marinate, the better. Two hours minimum- 8-24 hours (refrigerated) is even better!)
- Store marinated chicken in the fridge and cook marinated chicken within 2 days (unless freezing).
- Did you know you can freeze chicken directly in the marinade?! Yes- prepare as directed, freeze as airtight as you can and freeze. Defrost and use as you would fresh!
- Safety tip: do not re-use marinade; if you want to use leftover marinade as a sauce, bring to a boil and simmer at least 5 minutes to remove bacteria, simmer until desired consistency.
I don’t want to hear your excuses for bland chicken, again! ????